Peterborough Panthers 53 Eastbourne Eagles 40 Elite League A
Peterborough extracted full revenge for their narrow loss at Eastbourne last Saturday by returning the compliment in the return leg at the Showground.
A storming finish by the Panthers top duo in heats 13 and 15 were enough to seal all three points and send the Eagles back to the South Coast with nothing to show for it.
Nevertheless it has to be said the Eagles showed plenty of spirit and their mid match revival certainly asked a few questions in the home camp.
Thankfully these questions were fully answered by a faultless closing display by Panthers top two and they received good back up from Korneliussen, Hansen and the returning Ales Dryml.
Panthers got off to a great start just for once and after slamming in three maximums in the first 4 heats led the Eagles 18-6.
Watt came in for an early tactical in heat 5 and surprised the home pair by shooting away to win comfortably and with his partner Woodward in close support it took Korneliussen some considerable effort to split them.
Lukas Dryml showed he hadn’t forgot the quickest way around the Showground by outpacing Panthers no 1 Kenneth Bjerre in heat 6, but the Eagles stunned the home crowd in heat 7 as Bridger and Woodward both made excellent gates and although Iversen chased them hard all the way, he was unable to find a way past.
Initially in heat 8 it looked like the Eagles comeback was going to be complete as again the visitors made the early running, but Hansen clearly thought otherwise and he stormed past the Eagles pair, leaving them for dead to win by a big margin.
With Dryml’s machine failing on the start line in heat 9 the Eastbourne charge faltered and the Panthers took full advantage courtesy of a Korneliussen/Ales Dryml 5-1 to stretch the lead again, and it looked initially like Panthers would extend that in heat 12 with Bjerre out front and Vissing duelling with Bridger for second place. Bridger took the outside line and passed the Panthers reserve on the second lap only for Vissing to retake second spot on the line and both tore into the first bend on lap three at full throttle, something had to give and unfortunately it was Bridger, who piled into the airfence and after a short delay referee Margaret Vardy excluded Vissing and awarded the race.
The first race after the interval was again shared but Eastbourne again hit back in 12 to reduce the arrears to just 5 points.
Panthers needed their stars to perform and they didn’t let them down, Dryml made the early running but was powerless to prevent Iversen and Bjerre from storming by with resulting 5-1 putting Panthers into a 9 points lead.
Vissing made the Eagles task harder by timely winning heat 14, his only points of the night, with Iversen and Bjerre repeating their heat 13 score in the finale to provide Panthers with a thrilling end to what had been an entertaining match.
Team Manager Trevor Swales was pleased to get all 3 match points and said “Eastbourne impressed me both here and on Saturday at there place, everyone said they would be the whipping boys this year but they never know when they are beaten and our boys had to dig in to get a result tonight which they did and I thought it was a good meeting. They were the better team on Saturday and we were the better team tonight”.